Animals

2007
Litau

A tapestry of images and sounds. Tango dancing. A conversation about heaven and hell, with illustrations. Horses nuzzle. A woman reclines. Silent soccer. Street entertainers play classical music. Travel is mysterious and sometimes fraught.

2009
Mellow Magic

The viewer is whisked through a lovely cat-house, which also includes a turtle along with the whiskered pets, and then is suddenly immersed in the painted output of my old (yet still young and vibrant looking) friend, Michelle Joyce. We follow this cheerful personage on a tour of her studio and then get transported to a high-class arts center in midtown Frisco where the work is displayed to a variety of yapping youth in yo-yo mode.

2011
MICKRYS

This video is about two fictional characters, as in letters, and two fictional characters, as in anthropomorphized mice, falling in love. Just as they start their love-dance they are separated by The Hand of language/culture/logic and are forced to learn and embody new signifiers in order to reunite at the end and finish dancing.

2007
Paweł Wojtasik, Naked

Naked shows a colony of naked mole rats living in a laboratory. This rare and highly socialized species demonstrates modes of behavior that in uncanny ways seem human-like. The mole rats are the most inbred species on the planet, and have the longest life span of any laboratory animal. The film zeroes in on aspects of their existence (overcrowded conditions, violence, tenderness) that have parallels in the life of human society.

2012
Sam Easterson, Nest-Cams

Nest-Cams features footage from cameras placed in and around nests. Animals showcased include: black-capped chickadee, red squirrel, house wren, horned lark, red-breasted nuthatch, black tern, brook trout, and song sparrow.

2003
Oh Dear

A simple yet moving story of children and a baby deer set against the background of a go-kart track.

2016
ON ESSEX ROAD

A watchful dog in a confusion of reflected chairs begins and ends Cohen’s finely tuned observational portrait of London’s Essex Street, and the inhabitants who work the shops and throng the pavement there. People hurrying, pausing, waiting or simply standing, intermingled with worn statues of historic peerage in the slanted light of late afternoon. A man holds a copy of The Law of Privacy and the Media as though testing its resilience against the quiet onslaught of an average work day.

2002
One Trick Pony

Introduces the audience to the rockin' talkin' pony, who provides musical accompaniment for a series of Texas country-dance lessons.

This title is also available on Ben Coonley: Trick Pony Trilogy.

2006
Paul and the Badger: Episodes 1 to 4

The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrfice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.

2010
Paul and the Badger: Episodes 5 to 8

The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrifice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.

2010
Pigs

A close-range look at pigs living on a farm in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pigs, individually and as a group, become a metaphor for humanity as they go from leisurely wallowing in the mud to the wildness of a feeding frenzy. In a key shot, a pig confronts the viewer with a prolonged, enigmatic stare, as if questioning the very nature of human/animal relationship.

“Marvelously abstract and perfectly concrete.”

-- The Jury of the 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival

2017
Pizzly Bear

In imaginary landscapes where trees talk and frogs turn to handsome princes, Pizzly Bear is a story of a cross between a Grizzly and Polar Bear. Like in so many fables, the story is based in fact and this small animal is an archetypal stand-in for humanity.

2012

Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is a drama made expressly for chimpanzees – and the chimps' reaction to its screening at the Edinburgh Zoo. Chimpanzees watch television as a form of enrichment in captivity. But no filmmaker had made a film for a specifically ape audience.

2010
Ray's Birds

Ray Lowden keeps seventy-two large birds of prey, five deer and some wallabies at his place in Northumberland, England. He’s had ten days off in twelve years and loves what he does. The film is a little homage to his variously coy, imperious, curious, stubborn and comic raptor menagerie.

-- Deborah Stratman

2012
Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 2

In her overt challenge to conventional modes of femininity and sexuality, Hester Scheurwater confronts the viewer with her own body. The distorted, doll-like characters she plays in her video performances balance between fantasy and reality shifting between being vulnerable, violent, inviting and threatening. Scheurwater's characters are portrayed as isolated, confused and damaged—physically and emotionally—and unable to connect to their surroundings. Scheurwater’s provocative and unsettling works address relationships, notions of decorum, and the portrayal of women in the media.